Tom Gross forteller om en helt annen side av Gaza enn den vi vanligvis hører om, fra Sidsel Wold og andre. Spesielt nå som konvoien med hjelp er på vei, utpensles problemene med blokaden. Men Gross sier det er mye de ikke forteller.

What they won’t tell you about are the fancy new restaurants and swimming pools of Gaza, or about the wind surfing competitions on Gaza beaches, or the Strip’s crowded shops and markets. Many Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza live a middle class (and in some cases an upper class) lifestyle that western journalists refuse to report on because it doesn’t fit with the simplistic story they were sent to write.

Here, courtesy of the Palestinian Ma’an news agency, is a report on Gaza’s new Olympic-sized swimming pool . (Most Israeli towns don’t have Olympic-size swimming pools. One wonders how an area that claims to be starved of water and building materials and depends on humanitarian aid builds an Olympic size swimming pool and creates a luxury lifestyle for some while others are forced to live in abject poverty as political pawn refugees?)

If you pop into the Roots Club in Gaza, according to the Lonely Planet guidebook, you can «dine on steak au poivre and chicken cordon bleu».

The restaurant’s website in Arabic gives a window into middle class dining and the lifestyle of Hamas officials in Gaza. And here it is in English, for all the journalists, UN types and NGO staff who regularly frequent this and other nice Gaza restaurants (but don’t tell their readers about them).

And here is a promotional video of the club restaurant . In case anyone doubts the authenticity of this video, I just called the club in Gaza City and had a nice chat with the manager who proudly confirmed business is booming and many Palestinians and international guests are dining there.

In a piece for The Wall Street Journal last year, I documented the «after effects» of a previous «emergency Gaza boat flotilla,» when the arrivals were seen afterwards purchasing souvenirs in well-stocked shops. (You can also scroll down here for more pictures of Gaza’s «impoverished» shops.)

Read more: http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2010/05/25/fancy-restaurants-and-olympic-size-pools-what-the-media-won’t-report-about-gaza/#ixzz0pMJhwsMt